Anyone using HDMI connections yet? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Mr Peabody
01-18-2005, 07:27 PM
I recently bought a Sony 30" widescreen HDTV for our living room and at the same time bought the Sony 975 DVD player with HDMI. I am pleased with both units. The 30" has the best picture I've seen and the DVD viewing through HDMI is very good. In the family room where the HT set up is I bought the 62" Toshiba DLP. I have a Denon 1600 DVD player with Progressive Scan but no HDMI or DVI. I was thinking about replacing the Denon just to take advantage of HDMI but I wonder if I will see much difference between the component video upconverted by the TV and the HDMI. And has anyone done any comparisons as to how the different brands do with HDMI? I was thinking about the Toshiba SD-5970 but I read on another board some bad things about this unit. I could buy another Sony 975 but I don't know if I want to spend that much again. I won't use the SACD portion and could maybe save by using a machine without it. I heard the Panasonic does great. I haven't found glowing reviews of any of the HDMI units, I wonder if that is a technology that has some growing to do? Logic would seem that if HDMI is done correctly it would be better because there would be less converting to do since it is already digital going into the TV where component would be analog into the TV, changed to digital for the conversion and back to analog again for viewing. That's my understanding anyway.

Help me out here, surely someone on this board is up to speed with the new technologies.

01-18-2005, 08:33 PM
I'm not altogether sure what, if any, performance advantages come from using HDMI. Some magazine articles that I've read give a slight edge in picture quality to digital connections. As you mentioned, there are fewer conversions needed with this type of connection, so it makes sense. You have HDMI gear already, so it should be easy enough for you to try it out for yourself. This is something I'd be curious about as well!

In practical terms, it's better to go with HDMI if you're buying new components because it's pretty much been annointed as the connection standard for the future. At this time last year, there were very few components with HDMI outputs and inputs. Now, it's on most HDTVs (the connection is backwards compatible with DVI) and just about all of the new DVD players now have HDMI outputs. Flagship receivers have also started including HDMI switching. By this time next year, you'll probably see most new receiver models with HDMI connections.

The advantage of HDMI is that it can simultaneously carry digital video and audio signals. This means fewer interconnects needed, and the HDMI cables are less expensive than component video cables, particularly for long runs. If you're already invested in component video and all the cabling, and your HDTV can take analog connections, then I don't see any reason to switch over just yet.

Another consideration is that the studios are still pushing the feds to phase out analog HD connections out of piracy fears. Not sure where this is going, but one possible scenario would be that people who've invested in HDTVs without digital connections will find their resolution limited to the 480p resolution of DVDs.

01-19-2005, 12:55 AM
My TV (Sanyo HT32744) has an HDMI input but my DVD player (Pioneer Elite DV-45A) is three years old and thus lacks a digital video output. I'm getting HD via the OTA tuner so I've had no opportunity to try out HDMI yet.

Apparently as far as digital audio is concerned HDMI only passes Dolby Digital and PCM and doesn't send the audio to the TV's S/Pdif output, which means I would still have to connect an S/Pdif out to my pre/pro for HDMI devices unless I was satisfied with my TV's built in speakers (yeah right! ;) ). I wonder if this is merely a design limitation of my particular TV or part of some anti-piracy paranoia? It seems to me HDMI should be able to pass DTS and other audio codecs as well. Of course my TV doesn't decode anything other than DD and PCM but it would be nice to be able to pass DTS, etc. to a pre/pro or AV receiver and freeing up some digital inputs.

01-19-2005, 01:54 AM
I have the Sony dvd 975 as well. As I posted previously, it is my understanding that this unit and probably your Sony 30" tv has the HDCP(High Density Copy Protection). Your Sony tv if like my Panasonic will not work in HD mode without the HDMI cable.
Also, with the Sony 975 if you even have a bad connection, an optical wire in my case, It won't even turn on.

Mr Peabody
01-19-2005, 06:59 PM
I got a wee bit more info today. Maybe someone can confirm it for me. I was told the Progressive Scan signal from component out was digital. Also that the TV's that do the up-converting will only recognize analog for up-converting. This may not help with the HDMI question except I had the up-converting steps wrong but it will be interesting to see which looks better the 480p progressive scan or the 480i that will supposedly be up-converted to 720p. I will be back with results as soon as I get some decent cables and try this. I think I will use my Denon 1600 pro-scan for awhile to see what happens with DVD. I was looking at my owners manual and my Denon is already outdated. It has 54Mhz/10 bit video where I've seen some units with 108Mhz/12 bit for less money than I paid for this Denon. Which leads to another question, with DVD being able to do digital out will there be any reason to buy expensive units anymore, just for video? I'm sure you will gain performance in the SACD/DVD-a relm with a better machine.